Challenger Series gives MMA athletes an opportunity to pursue a world championship and $1 million prize
2023 PFL Challenger Series begins January 27 exclusively on Fubo Sports, FuboTV’s 24/7 sports network dedicated to featuring sports stories on and off the field
The Professional Fighters League (PFL) today announced the 2023 PFL Challenger Series Women’s Flyweight competitors and bouts. The PFL Challenger Series is an eight-part competition which will stream exclusively on Fubo Sports, the live, free-to-consumer TV network from FuboTV Inc. (NYSE: FUBO), the leading sports-first live TV streaming platform. The Challenger Series airs live on Friday nights in primetime, beginning January 27 through March 17, and is held on the backlot of Universal Studios Florida in Orlando, with fighters looking to earn the opportunity to compete for a world championship and $1 million winner’s purse.
The main event of the Women’s Flyweight card will feature Chelsea Hackett and Desiree Yanez for a matchup inside the PFL SmartCage. Hackett, a kickboxing prospect out of Australia, is a WMC and WBC Muay Thai champion and recently transitioned to MMA ahead of the pandemic. The 22-year-old will take on Texas native Desiree Yanez. The 32-year-old Yanez is the current Peak Fighting champion, with four wins by finish including three knockouts and one submission.
“As we approach the kickoff to the 2023 PFL Challenger Series, we are excited to introduce our new Women’s Flyweight division as a part of this year’s eight-week competition being held live from the backlot of Universal Studios Florida,” said PFL President of Fighter Operations, Ray Sefo.
The co-main event of the fifth week of the 2023 PFL Challenger Series will see American Kaytlin Neil square up with Griet Eeckhout, a Belgian fighter who is set to become the second fighter from Belgium to fight under the PFL banner. Neil, a Muay Thai professional, holds a 4-2 record and will challenge Eeckhout, who owns four wins by finish, including two knockouts and two submissions.
Further action on the card will see Shanna Young, an American who fights out of Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas, battle Sandra Lavado, the “Peruvian Zombie.” Young boasts five wins that came by way of finish, including two knockouts and three submissions. Lavado is the #1 pound-for-pound women’s fighter in Peru and will look to improve on her four previous wins by submission.
Helen Peralta, an American who fights out of Iowa, will clash with fellow American, Lisa Mauldin, who trains at Team Oyama with Carla Esparza, Alex Perez and Louis Smolka. Peralta will put her impressive 9-1 record to the test, while Mauldin seeks to extend her undefeated 2-0 record in the first bout of PFL’s recently launched Women’s Flyweight division.
PFL Challenger Series winners will be determined by a judging panel comprised of combat sports champions and celebrity guests. The PFL is at the forefront of innovation, recently reaching an agreement with Jake Paul, who will compete in, recruit for, and promote the league’s PPV Super Fight division.